Are you living your life just trying to get through one day at a time?
You can do that temporarily, but you cannot live out your entire life just thinking about the present. Not if you want to create a legacy for your family.
Building a legacy doesn’t mean amassing great wealth. A legacy is a something that is passed down to future generations. If you haven’t thought about the kind of legacy you want to build for your family, you are leaving your legacy to chance. Even if you are not deliberately creating a legacy for your children, you are still creating one. The things that you do, say, and even the things you don’t do or say are setting the course for your children and your grandchildren.
You ARE building a legacy for your family whether you are conscious of it or not.
You have wisdom, strength, courage, and values you want your children and grandchildren to carry forward. If you are not diligent, you will create a legacy of dysfunction for your family instead of a solid foundation for successful living. A strong legacy doesn’t just happen. It is carefully created.
"Legacies are for everyone"
When you walk into a hotel and see the picture of the founder of the hotel, you should be reminded of your own family legacy. Legacies are not just for the rich and famous—they are for everyone. You must stop ignoring your legacy and take a good hard look at your life. What are you doing with your life? What are your habits? How do you communicate your values in the actions you take? If you don’t like the answers to these questions, you have to change what you are doing. Now.
The most powerful inheritance you leave your children is your legacy. You must live your life thinking about the decree, or code, your children and grandchildren will live by. If you have never thought about your legacy before, it is time to start thinking about it. The first step you need to take is to write it down. Take time to list the values, attributes, and habits you want to instill in your family. Look at your list and decide which are the five things that are most important to you and your family. Now, you are ready to draft your Family Declaration, or Family Mission Statement. Take those words and write why these are the most important attributes for your family or how your family will live out these principles.
Getting organized, poor communication, balancing work and home life. Every family struggles. Yes, even healthy families struggle. The struggles of parenting and managing relationships are real. You have to know that just because you struggle doesn’t mean your family is falling apart. You are not alone in dealing with the complexities of managing your family.
Here is a sample:
Honorable, Truthful, Compassionate, Courageous, Resilient
Our family stands for honor. We build a good reputation by always choosing to do the honorable thing. No matter how hard it is, we stand for honor.
Our family stands for truth. We do not lie. Whatever the cost or consequence of telling the truth, it is better than the disgrace of telling a lie.
Our family practices compassion. We do not walk away from someone who is hurting or in need. We do our best to care for those around us who need care and to love them in the midst of their brokenness.
Our family is courageous. We do not run away from challenging events or obstacles in our path. We bravely face adversity and stay on the path of righteousness.
Our family is resilient. We do not give up when we fail. We get back up and keep moving forward no matter what adversity we face. Hardships make us stronger, not weaker. We recover and grow from our mistakes and from the pain we encounter on our journey.
Once you have it written, share it with your children. Place it somewhere in your home where you and your family will see it every day. Consistently refer to it as you instill these principles in your children. You are building your family legacy one decision at a time! I am rooting for you!